Augustin-Louis Cauchy Biography


Birthday: August 21, 1789 (Leo)

Born In: Paris

Augustin-Louis Cauchy was a French mathematician. He was famous for the countless contributions he made to the domain of mathematics. He made special contribution to mathematical analysis and the theory of substitution groups. For a brief period, he served as a military engineer for Napoleon’s English invasion fleet. He wrote many books that cover a wide area of mathematics and mathematical physics. He authored around eight hundred research articles. His paper on definite integrals acted as the basis of the theory of complex functions. Due to his praiseworthy contribution to wave propagation , which is an important part of hydrodynamics, he received the prestigious grand prix from the Institute of France. His theories on functions of complex variables have played substantial part in subjects ranging from applied mathematics to aeronautics. His significant papers on error theory act as valuable asset for the domain of science. Cauchy was the first mathematician who developed definitions and rules for mathematics. He introduced the definitions of the integral and rules for series convergence. As a person he was a God-fearing, earnest Roman Catholic and a strict Bourbon royalist. He was actively involved with Institut Catholoque and Ecole Normale Ecclesiastique.
Quick Facts

French Celebrities Born In August

Died At Age: 67


Spouse/Ex-: Aloïse de Bure

father: Louis François Cauchy

mother: Marie-Madeleine Desestre

siblings: Alexandre Laurent Cauchy, Eugène François Cauchy

Mathematicians French Men

Died on: May 23, 1857

place of death: Paris

City: Paris

discoveries/inventions: Problem Of Apollonius

More Facts

education: École Polytechnique, École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées

  • 1

    What are some of Augustin-Louis Cauchy's most significant contributions to mathematics?

    Augustin-Louis Cauchy made significant contributions to calculus, complex analysis, and mathematical physics. He is known for the Cauchy integral theorem, Cauchy's integral formula, and the Cauchy convergence criterion.

  • 2

    How did Augustin-Louis Cauchy impact the development of mathematical analysis?

    Augustin-Louis Cauchy played a crucial role in the development of mathematical analysis by introducing rigorous definitions and proofs. His work laid the foundation for modern analysis and helped establish the concept of limits.

  • 3

    What is the Cauchy distribution, and how is it related to Augustin-Louis Cauchy?

    The Cauchy distribution is a probability distribution named after Augustin-Louis Cauchy. It is characterized by its unique shape and heavy tails, making it useful in various statistical applications such as in physics and finance.

  • 4

    How did Augustin-Louis Cauchy contribute to the theory of functions of a complex variable?

    Augustin-Louis Cauchy made significant contributions to the theory of functions of a complex variable by introducing the concept of complex integration and residues. His work helped establish the foundation of complex analysis.

  • 5

    What is the significance of Cauchy's mean value theorem, and how did Augustin-Louis Cauchy contribute to it?

    Cauchy's mean value theorem is an important result in calculus that states that if a function is continuous on a closed interval and differentiable on the open interval, then there exists a point where the derivative is equal to the average rate of change. Augustin-Louis Cauchy made key contributions to this theorem, further advancing the field of calculus.

Childhood & Early Life
Augustin-Louis Cauchy was born on 21 August 1789 in Paris, France, as the son of Louis Francois Cauchy, a senior French government officer and Marie-Madeleine Desestre. He had two brothers – Alexandre Laurent Cauchy and Eugene Francois Cauchy.
His father lost his job due to the French Revolution and the family moved to Arcueil; Cauchy received his early education there. However, his family returned to Paris after the political atmosphere calmed down.
Cauchy took admission at the best secondary school of Paris, the École Centrale du Panthéon. There he won several prizes in Latin and Humanities.
He chose to opt for engineering and cleared the entrance examination with second rank. He finished his engineering course from Ecole Polytechnique in 1807.
He then attended École des Ponts et Chaussées (School for Bridges and Roads) and completed his graduation in civil engineering.
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*Cauchy became a military engineer and accepted a job in Cherbourg in 1810 where he worked on the harbors and fortifications for Napoleon’s English invasion fleet.
Along with his busy engineering career he also managed to prepare three mathematical manuscripts, which he submitted to the Première Classe (First Class) of the Institut de France. Two of these were accepted.
His engineering job, however, did not hold his interest for long. He returned to Paris in 1812, in the hopes of obtaining a mathematical position. Even though he did not resign from his job, he spent the next three years on unpaid sick leave, working on mathematical research.
The 1810s marked a turbulent period in France. In 1815, Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, and Louis XVIII was installed as the new king. Under his reign the Académie des Sciences was re-established in March 1816 and Cauchy was offered a position there. However his acceptance of the job earned him many enemies.
Over the ensuing years he published many important treatises including ‘Coursd’analyse de l’École Royale Polytechnique’ (1821), ‘Résumé des leçons sur le calcul infinitésimal’ (1823), and ‘Leçons sur les applications du calcul infinitésimal à la géométrie’ (1826–28).
In 1830, France underwent another revolution and King Charles X went into exile. Cauchy also left the country at this time. He returned to Paris after a few years in 1838.
He was elected to the Bureau des Longitudes in 1839. However he refused to swear an oath of allegiance because of which the king refused to approve his election. Thus he could not become a formal member of the Bureau and nor could he receive any payment.
He still performed his research on celestial mechanics and presented a dozen papers on this topic to the Academy in 1840. In the 1840s he also became involved with the École Normale Écclésiastique, a school in Paris run by Jesuits.
Major Works
Augustin-Louis Cauchy is best known for single-handedly developing Complex analysis, traditionally known as the theory of functions of a complex variable. This branch of mathematical analysis investigates functions of complex numbers, and is useful in many branches of mathematics, as well as physics.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1818, Cauchy married Aloise de Bure, member of a family of publishers and booksellers who published majority of his works. The couple had two daughters: Marie Francoise Alicia and Marie Mathilde. Augustin.
Cauchy died on May 23, 1857.
No other mathematician except Leonhard Euler left behind a bigger body of work than Cauchy.
Facts About Augustin-Louis Cauchy

Cauchy was known for his extreme punctuality and would reportedly set his clock by the cannon fire at the military academy where he taught.

He had a strong interest in theology and wrote extensively on the relationship between science and religion.

Cauchy was a talented linguist and was fluent in several languages, including Latin, Greek, and English.

Cauchy was known for his generosity and often helped support struggling students and colleagues financially.

See the events in life of Augustin-Louis Cauchy in Chronological Order

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